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Memorials to mark Ireland united in war

By Adrian Rutherford

Events are taking place in Belgium today to mark the centenary of a seminal battle of the First World War.

The Battle of Messines Ridge has historic and symbolic significance, as it was the first time the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Divisions fought alongside each other during that war.

The UK and Irish Governments, in partnership with the Messines authorities, are hosting a shared commemorative event at the Island of Ireland Peace Park in Messines, which is a memorial to all the soldiers from the island of Ireland who died in the First World War.

The Duke of Cambridge, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Princess Astrid of Belgium are due to attend the ceremony.

Lord Dunlop will lay a wreath on behalf of the UK Government.

He said: "We have seen all too well how history can divide, but our ambitious goal throughout this decade of centenaries is to seek to use history to bring us together."

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